Briones: Change of heart

TOMAS Osmeña has had a makeover.

And I don’t mean the Cebu City mayor is sporting a semi-shaved haircut or wearing ripped jeans and a T-shirt that’s way too big for him.

No, I’m referring to how he has been dealing with his constituents.

A friend remarked that the old Osmeña would never stoop to the level of answering questions on trivial matters on Facebook. So unlike this rebooted version, who, it seems, has become a “friend” of the people overnight.

I mean, how else do you describe his light banters with netizens who “drop by” his Facebook page? Not only that, the mayor is now in the habit of granting people’s wishes.

Okay, so I can only think of two instances.

But there’s no question that Tomas 2018 is a gentler, friendlier version of the guy who had the penchant for kicking things.

My friend has a theory.

He’s suggesting that the mayor’s hold on the mayoralty is tenuous. Hence, the sudden turnaround.

It may have something to do with the barangay elections, which are less than a month away, I told him. After all, majority of the city’s 80 barangay captains are allied with Osmeña’s predecessor and former protege Michael Rama.

My friend reminded me that Osmeña recently claimed that some barangay officials allied with Barug Team Rama have been sending feelers that they want to join his BOPK, although he refused to say who they are.

“I will tell you after the elections. I will not tell you before. I don’t count, I don’t care, I don’t even accept so I won’t discuss,” Osmeña told reporters.

The mayor doesn’t count, he doesn’t care and he doesn’t accept. Yet, if he needs three more vote to get the ABC... “Ako nang dawaton. But after that, no more. The door is closed.”

But why would he then point out the obvious?

“Reminder to everyone that no matter what, I’m still the mayor. Will I help those who are identified with me? I will help everybody but, of course, I will help those who are identified with me ahead. Why will I help Team Suyop first? I’m not crazy.”

No, crazy the mayor is not. But he is facing attacks on many fronts.

The indefatigable Rama continues to nip at his heels. I’m sure the latter’s supporters in the south, especially those who have been affected by the underpass project on N. Bacalso, will also be too happy to get back at their torturer.

Then there’s Dino, the presidential assistant for the Visayas whose animosity with Osmeña apparently goes back a long way.

Oh, and let’s not forget that Goliath of a conglomerate that the mayor has been fighting “tooth and nail” to protect the interest of Cebu City.

“Yeah,” my friend and I nodded in agreement.
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